Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Today's is written by The Daily Advertiser journalist Conor Burke.
Australians are scared of many things. An Ashes loss, check. Ending a sentence without an upward inflection, you betcha. Magpies, petrified. House prices, let's not go there.
But what seems to scare the nation most of all is cutting ties with the British monarchy.
We only have to remember the incredible, protracted outpouring of grief after the Queen's death, and absolute lack of critical discussion about her reign, to get that sense.
I say scared, because there's a question that has come to my mind time and again as the idea of a republic has been debated.
What are we afraid will happen if the British monarch is no longer our head of state?
This irrational fear of going it alone after a mere 190-odd years goes hand-in-hand, I think, with another phobia - reconciling with our colonial past and giving the Aboriginal community a voice.
I had a conversation with an Aussie the other day who opposed the Voice to Parliament, because, and I paraphrase (slightly), 'what will they want next?'
Who cares? And so what?
What could 'they' want that would be worse than the tragedy of dispossession and genocide, that permeates and divides our society hundreds of years later.
Now while I am an Australian citizen, I was born and grew up in London to Irish parents and as an outsider I'm baffled that such a patriotic nation would cling so dearly to another nation's monarchy.
I've spent the last decade living and working here, half of that time on construction sites and the past year in Wagga Wagga in the NSW Riverina, and I've seen a real lack of appetite for change among a large section of people.
And I often hear the same reason: 'Why change anything? It's our culture.'
But will leaving the monarchy behind erase our British heritage? No.
Will it wipe out the way this nation was founded? It sure won't.
Can you still buy plates with the Queen painted on it? If that's your thing.
In the wake of the Queen's death, many Republicans were told that a discussion about ditching the Windsors was crass, it wasn't the time.
But I say it's exactly the right time. The Queen was a thread pulled through a century of history.
But that link to history has been cut with her passing, so let's start fresh.
We won't lose a thing by becoming a republic, but we will gain a new identity and perhaps the respect of many within this nation (like myself) who find the links to the crown distasteful.
We could create a new republic, celebrate that date as our national day and forge ahead proud of a nation that aims to include everyone.
So, what are we scared of?
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